Reader, beware—seances, spirits, apparitions and Eastern European folktales abound here. The second of two live performances, this show explores the shadowy figure of Madame Blavatsky, a Russian-born spiritualist who founded theosophy and travelled the world. This is a highly polished and entertaining piece of theatre from the makers of Adelaide podcast, Deviant Women.
Imagine how many incredible and divergent women have been lost in the annals of history. Deviant Women seeks to unearth these forgotten stories, and does so with immense style and pith. Creators Alicia Carter and Lauren Butterworth are charming hosts for the eerie proceedings. Their camaraderie and chemistry is immediately apparent as they swap jokes and jabs, and swoop in to support the other if they lose their place.
The story of Blavatsky travels the globe, so it’s appropriate that Carter and Butterworth never lose speed, keeping energy levels at maximum throughout the entire performance. What is so compelling about this show is that it is steeped in history and knowledge, and their demonstrations of Victorian occultism provide plenty of food for thought (as well as boundless laughs). Sound and effects provided by Brendan Davies supports this, with ample stage lightning and one particularly creepy spirit apparition.
Fans of history and the occult will want to see this show again and again; so it’s a shame then that it is only on for one night. This is a show with plenty of potential to be repeated. Deviant Women: Madame Blavatsky highlights the very best of the Fringe.
Reviewed by CJ McLean
Rating out of 5: 4.5
One Night Only – season ended